Peconic Bay Medical Center (PBMC) has announced it will offer healthcare services to military veterans at its new facility in Manorville starting Tuesday.
During a press conference at the hospital’s Gertrude and Louis Feil Campus for Ambulatory Care facility in Manorville, Congressman Lee Zeldin said he helped PBMC and the Department of Veterans Affairs reach an agreement to create the new East End healthcare facility for veterans and their families.
While there’s a veteran’s clinic at the Riverhead County Center, its resources and hours are limited, he said, adding local veterans seeking specialized and comprehensive outpatient medical care typically have to travel to the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
“Today, you are going to hear a lot of thanks to PBMC for veterans of our five East End towns that have voiced their challenge spending what sometimes amounts to an entire day trying to get to Northport VA for their services,” Mr. Zeldin told the crowd of about 30 people.
Suffolk County has the largest population of veterans in New York state, Mr. Zeldin said, adding the county also has the second largest population of veterans compared to all other counties across the country.
After the press conference, Mr. Zeldin said he first became passionate about the issue in 2008 during his first bid for Congress.
“People had told me about access issues and the inconvenience of having to travel to Northport from the East End and I remember thinking back then this is something I want help fix,” “he said.
Riverhead Town Councilman and military veteran John Dunleavy said the agreement marked a “great day for the veterans who live on the East End of Long Island.”
“It’s been a long wait for the veterans on the East End that have to travel to Northport for all their major surgeries and doctors appointments,” he said.
Dr. George Ruggiero, chief of family medicine and director of medical education at PMBC, said the agreement is in line with the new facility’s goal.
“The whole purpose of this campus was to reach a great number of folks,” he said. “This embodies that mission.”
Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center spokesman Joe Sledge praised PBMC’s new service.
“As Northport VA Medical Center is proud to care for America’s veterans, it is also gratifying to know that Peconic Bay Medical Center staff are making special efforts to expand services for their patients who served in the Armed Forces and for their families,” he said in a press release.
There are some services veterans will still need to travel to Northport for, such as psychiatric care, Mr. Zeldin said.
Heathcare services offered at the Manorville facility include: primary care, disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses, and patient education and counseling. Veterans will also have access to the facility’s speciality services, including: rheumatology, gastroenterology, colon and rectal surgery, general surgery, orthopedic trauma and metabolic bone disease.
The facility in Manorville will be open Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.